AMERICAN UNIVERSITY Department of Economics ECON 200-004H

Department of Economics
ECON 200-004H
Spring 2009
M/Th 11:20-12:35
Robert M. Feinberg
Roper 210 (x3788)
Office Hours – MTh 1-4
[email protected]
Course Description and Goals:
This course is a survey of microeconomic theory, problems and policies. The focus of
the course is on the behavior of individual consumers, firms, and markets. By the end of the
semester the student should be equipped to analyze and to understand economic events and
issues, particularly those involving determination of prices and costs. In pursuit of this overall
objective, the topic and reading assignment list on the next page sets out the planned schedule.
General Education:
Microeconomics is a 2nd-level course in Curricular Area 4: Social Institutions and
Behavior (in Cluster 1: Institutions). General Education credit will be given only if a
Foundation Course in the same cluster has first been taken (these are COMM-100, ECON-100,
GOVT-110, and SOCY-150).
Required Text:
Lipsey, Ragan, and Storer, Microeconomics, 13th ed., 2008
(a less-expensive on-line version is available at
There will be 4 ungraded problem sets, answers to which will be discussed in class prior
to exams covering the same material. There will be three midterm exams and a comprehensive
final exam (the best three of these four exams will each be worth 30% of your course grade).
The remaining 10% of your grade will be based on the following project: students will work in
teams of 2 or 3 to study specific industries of your choosing (e.g., steel, airlines, apparel,
computers). The projects will lead to a short class presentation on various aspects of the recent
development of these industries (either in the US or globally). The industry analyses should be
concise discussions of recent trends in employment, revenue, productivity, and profitability; the
structure of the industry; the competitive nature of the industry; the turnover of firms; the causes
of industry growth and decline; and the extent of government intervention into the industry. Your
group should come up with an industry to study early in the term and can follow current
developments through articles in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Economist,
or Business Week. Class presentations will take place during the last three classes of the
semester. Each presentation should take about 20 minutes. Students must prepare 2-page outlines
of their presentations and distribute copies to the class.
Note: There will be no make-up exams; counting only the best three of the four exams
allows enough flexibility if you need to miss one of them.
Academic Integrity:
Standards of academic conduct are set forth in the University's Academic Integrity Code.
By registering, you have acknowledged your awareness of the Academic Integrity Code and you
are obliged to become familiar with your rights and responsibilities as defined by the Code.
Course outline:
. Introduction and Basic Concepts -- Jan 12, 15 ch. 1, 2
Note: There is no class on Monday January 19th
2. Demand, Supply, and Market Equilibrium – Jan. 22, 26, 29 -- ch. 3, 4, 5
3. Consumer Demand Theory – Feb. 2, 5 -- ch. 6
** 1st EXAM – Feb. 9th **
4. Production and Cost – Feb. 12, 16, 19 -- ch. 7, 8
5. Perfect Competition – Feb. 23, 26 -- ch. 9
6. Monopoly -- Mar. 2, 5 -- ch. 10
Note: There are no classes on Monday March 9th or Thursday March 12th
** 2nd EXAM – Mar. 16th **
7. Imperfect Competition: Theory and Policy – Mar. 19, 23 -- ch. 11, 12
8. Labor Markets and Labor Policy – Mar. 26, 30 -- ch. 13, 14
9. Market Failure: Health, Safety, Environmental Regulation – Apr. 2, 6 – ch. 16,17
** 3rd EXAM – Apr. 9th **
10. The Public Sector – Apr. 13, 16 -- ch. 18
11. Student Presentations – Apr. 20, 23, 27
** FINAL EXAM – MONDAY, MAY 4TH , 11:20 -1:50 **
Note: You are not responsible for material in chapter appendices unless discussed in lectures.